Review: The Madman's Daughter by Megan Sheperd


The Madman's Daughter (The Madman's Daughter, #1)
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published January 29th 2013 by Balzer + Bray

The Madman’s Daughter is a refreshing take on the YA genre. There are no vamps, demons, fallen angels or mystical beings, but there is something which is far more fascinating and repulsing –strange half-human, half-animal beings created by a scientist/surgeon gone mad.

I knew The Madman’s Daughter is something to watch out for from the very beginning. The story opens with young Juliet scrubbing her youth away at the King’s College of Medical Research. She used to live in the lap of luxury, but that was before her father’s scandal hit home and they lost everything – wealth, relatives, relations and home. Her mother had to become some rich man’s mistress to support Juliet and herself when her father went missing.

Then, by fate’s arrangement, she found Montgomery, a handsome young man who used to be their home servant. Aside the romantic feelings Juliet has for him as a young girl, she also found out that her father is still alive somewhere out there. What would a desperate girl do? Beg Montgomery to bring her to her Father, of course.

However, when she arrived at the island with a castaway they saved in the ocean, her instinct was to hide from her father. And perhaps reunion with her Father was not as exciting and happy as she had imagined.

The story itself is actually a retelling of a Wells’ classic, but new characters and twists in the storyline have made The Madman’s Daughter an enjoyable read. I witnessed the horrors a madman will do to challenge God’s power of creation, even to the extent of considering to use her own daughter as a specimen for an experiment. The story contains a few reference to Christianity, but the story itself is not religious or anything. I would rather say that the reference of religion is to act as a comparative to Dr. Morreau’s horrifying acts.

Read this if you like horror, Sci-fi or YA with a twist.

Rating: 4.500

About The Author
Megan Shepherd
Megan Shepherd was "born" into the book world, growing up in her parents' independent bookstore in Western North Carolina. She is the author of THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER trilogy (Balzer+Bray/2013), and THE CAGE trilogy (Balzer+Bray/2015). When Megan is not writing, she can usually be found horseback riding, day dreaming at coffee shops, or hiking in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains. She is represented by Josh Adams at Adams Literary.

Book Review : Candy and the Cankersaur

Candy and the Cankersaur by Jason Sandberg
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Released: June 18, 2012

About The Book
This is the sweet and funny tale of a young girl named Candy and her Cankersaurus Rex! Candy receives a dinosaur as a gift and is determined to train him to be a good pet. This playful homage to Syd Hoff will make all dinosaur-crazy boys and girls happy! Enjoy!

As a bedtime story Picture Book it’s aimed for children ages 3-6.
As a read-alone Picture Book it’s appropriate for children ages 6-9.

Candy and the Cankersaur is a lovely children's book. It has a lot of beautifully-drawn pictures which will surely attract kids' attention and a storyline that is cute and exciting. It will also teach kids the value of friendship and the happiness that comes with it. Some kids might not be familiar with the 'big' words in the book, so I would recommend parents to go through with their children to guarantee a better understanding of the story. Candy and the Cankersaur will be a great bedtime story for kids too.

Glossary / Big words in the book:
1. purchased, globe pg 4
2. appreciate pg 5
3. pestered pg 6
4. spectacular, companionship pg 7
5. summoned, crate pg 8
6. Paleontologist pg 9
7. devoured, pg 13
8. sulk, Zoologist, pg 17
9. salamander pg 20
10. specialized, oddities pg 21
11. amused, thrilled, ferocious, terrifying pg 26
12. gasped pg 27
13. reuniting pg 28
14. intent, refund pg 29
15. conclusion pg 30

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Book Review : Strands of Bronze and Gold

Strands of Bronze and Gold (Strands of Bronze and Gold, #1)
Strands of Bronze and Gold
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published March 12th 2013 by Random House Children's Books 
Available on The Book Depository

Strands of Bronze and Gold has been on my to-read list for a while. The notion of a Bluebeard retelling really intrigues me, which is why I was very excited to read this book.

Sophia Petheram was invited to stay with her godfather Monsieur Bernard de Cressac after her father’s passing. She was at first jubilant about this, and deeply charmed by her debonair, handsome godfather. However, she soon discovered that things were not as idly wonderful as she first thought.

The story itself held much promises as it is a retelling of a hugely popular fairytale which contains streaks of horror and gore. The ending was good and the imagery was brilliant. I could actually imagine what was going on at the moment. However, I find the whole story a little too long, as most parts could be easily dismissed or cut, and there isn’t much surprise and suspense along the way. In short, it was quite boring - basically nothing really happened until somewhere near the end.

The heroine, might I say, was innocent to the point of stupidity. Did it never cross her mind that nothing in this world is free? Surely she did not expect a stranger to smother her with luxury beyond her imagination without asking for anything in return? And surely she noticed traces of inappropriateness and craze when her godfather behaved in such a way that could only be described as sexual harassment? (Imagine him licking her neck and kissing her forcefully on the lips)

Sophia’s reactions towards her godfather (and later fiancĂ©, because the crazy old man finally decided she was too alluring to be only her goddaughter) were really frustrating. She never rejected his inappropriate manners until matters got worse. And no, I don’t think sacrificing your own happiness for the sake of getting money to help your sibling out of debt is a noble act, especially when he is a gambler!

I just hoped the story had been better.

Rating: 3